Frances Martel reports for Breitbart, that on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020, Democrats in the House of Representatives voted against an amendment to a proposed bill that would prevent the powerful Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) from forcing private credit scoring companies to evaluate Americans based on political opinions or religious beliefs — to “make use of information related to political opinions, religious expression, or other expression protected by the First Amendment, whether obtained from a social media account of a consumer or other sources.”
The amendment would have been tacked onto Rep. Ayanna Pressley’s (D-MA) Student Borrower Credit Improvement Act, or Comprehensive CREDIT Act of 2020.
House Democrats rejected the amendment with 208 votes. Only 15 Democrats voted in favor of the free speech protections. Some, like Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), took the pusillanimous non-committal way by abstaining.
Republicans warn that without such an amendment, the powerful CFPB would have the legal authority to make nearly any criteria mandatory for a private credit evaluation company to take into consideration, paving the way for a system in which the federal government has the power to assign numerical scores to individuals like Communist China’s social credit system, based on their loyalty to a certain political party, membership in civil society groups that the government approves or disapproves of, or other private behaviors.
In a statement following the House vote, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) warned that if the Senate also passes the bill (Comprehensive CREDIT Act of 2020) without the amendment, the CFPB would now have the power to use any aspect of a person’s life to change their credit score, with significant potential for abuse. McCarthy said:
“In keeping with their theme of handing over more control to the government, Democrats now support giving the CFPB unchecked authority on credit score modeling, without any built-in measure to stop potential abuse of power or violation of our Constitutional rights. There is a terrifying parallel to the practices of China’s communist regime, which seeks to control the actions of their population with a social credit score. This kind of oppressive practice is antithetical to American freedoms and ideals.”
China’s new “social credit system” bans citizens from key social services like public transportation if they lose too many points behaving in a way disapproved by the Communist Party. China has begun exporting this system, along with its surveillance technology, to countries in the Western Hemisphere like Venezuela, Ecuador, and Bolivia.
Democratic 2020 presidential candidates have posited a point system like China’s “social credit” for evaluating good citizenship. Andrew Yang calls his “modern time banking”. He said on his website: “Volunteer activity and community engagement would be tracked by an app and seeded, initially, by the government. After that, local administrators would oversee the program.”
Created in 2011 to protect Americans from economic malfeasance in the aftermath of the 2008 economic crisis, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) supposedly is responsible for consumer protection in the financial sector. Designed by Sen. Elizabeth “Fauxcahontas” Warren (D-MA), CFPB’s jurisdiction is vast in scope, including banks, credit unions, securities firms, payday lenders, mortgage-servicing operations, foreclosure relief services, debt collectors and other financial companies.
Though an agency of the executive branch of the federal government, CFPB does not answer to the President, making it unaccountable to anyone but its director, 45-year-old Kathy Kraninger — a Republican and a Trump administration appointee. The President of the United States has only limited oversight over CFPB through a narrow list of reasons to remove a director.
CFPB has faced repeated accusations of abuse of power, particularly under its founding director Richard Cordray, an Obama appointee. In perhaps the most absurd example of overreach, the CFPB attempted in 2015 to punish a land development company for not maintaining roads in Tennessee at the standard the Bureau deemed appropriate.
The constitutionality of giving an unelected body such as the CFPB the power to impose its demands on private individuals and corporations has been the subject of extensive debate and unsuccessful lawsuits. Last October, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a challenge to the constitutionality of the CFPB.
On the same day as the House Democrats’ defeat of the free speech-protecting amendment, Elizabeth Warren launched a campaign against “disinformation,” a word the Chinese Communist Party often uses to censor speech. She tweeted:
Anyone who seeks to challenge and defeat Donald Trump must be prepared to take on the full array of disinformation that foreign actors and people in and around his campaign will use to divide Democrats, suppress Democratic votes, and erode the standing of the Democratic nominee. Campaigns and tech companies can take a number of steps to slow the spread of misinformation right now. And as president, I’ll take a series of actions to further address the spread of disinformation.
Warren also vowed that “when” elected President, she would not only overturn everything President Trump has achieved, she would hunt down and punish Trump administration officials and functionaries.